Oh, I Like That

Episode 4: Staying in and Getting Through It

Episode Summary

We love Netflix and Zoom as integral parts of the 2020 stay-at-home experience, but we want to share a couple of our other favorite ways to have fun and create novel experiences during the pandemic.

Episode Notes

With COVID-19 transmission rates ramping up all over the country, we’re continuing to hunker down in our homes—and lots of folks are doing the same, or are returning to the stay-at-home lifestyle of the spring of 2020. Because no person can live on Netflix and Zoom get-togethers alone, we’re going to talk about creative ideas for making time at home feel just a bit more special. We’ll discuss throwing at-home pop-up events (Oktoberfest, beach day) and turning your space in the places in the world you especially miss, like coffee shops, bars, and movie theaters. We’ll also talk about an accessible way to get into coffee nerdery.

This episode was produced by Rachel and Sally and edited by Lucas Nguyen. Our logo was designed by Amber Seger (@rocketorca). Our theme music is by Tiny Music. MJ Brodie transcribed this episode. Follow us on Twitter @OhILikeThatPod.

Things we talked about

Episode Transcription

Sally: Hey everyone. Just a quick note, before we get into the episode, we had a mini audio snafu with Rachel's mic, so you'll notice that the audio quality on her end is not up to our usual standards. So it's going to sound a little different. We've since figured out the problem, so we're good to go for next episode, but sorry about that and thank you so much for bearing with us. Here we go.

Rachel: Welcome to Oh I Like That a podcast about things we like and occasionally things we don't.

Sally: Hey Rachel.

Rachel: Hey Sally. How's it going?

Sally: Going okay. Speaking of how it's going, should we do a little vibe check?

Rachel: Yeah.

Sally: Okay. So the vibe is complex as I feel it often is these days. I'm feeling still pretty great about Trump's loss.

Rachel: Good, good

Sally: Feeling real bad about the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump.

Rachel: Mm-hmm.

Sally: Feeling real energized, though, for the work ahead dealing with that whole situation, TM TM TM. And I'm also feeling real bad right now about the state of the pandemic.

Rachel: Yeah, it's been a rough few days, a few weeks. The numbers are not good. And I feel like yesterday it kind of hit a lot of people just seeing how much they've grown in the past two weeks since November 1st. I know that that is definitely having an impact on my vibe this morning. I'm feeling very concerned heading into the holidays that we are not in a good place right now.

Sally: Yeah. We're in a distinctly bad place. And I wanted more for us in month eight of this pandemic. I really, really did.

Rachel: Yeah, I know. It's really awful. I have an aunt who works in the ICU at a hospital in Michigan. She texted me yesterday and it is very bleak. It is really... I'm going to try to keep it positive here this morning and not get into all of the things she was telling me, but she said their hospital is full, they're very overwhelmed and the state of things is not good. She was like, "I wish people could see this. Everybody needs to wear a mask and stop going to parties." Just your evergreen at this point reminder -- wear a mask, stop going to parties.

Sally: Yeah. Please don't go inside anywhere unless you have to. Yeah. I guess maybe I'll just mention this one tool that I think is helpful for anyone who's feeling not really sure if they absolutely have to not have an indoor Thanksgiving. I'll drop a link to it in the show notes, but it's a tool developed by researchers -- I think the University of Georgia -- and what they've done is basically create a tool that allows you to see the likelihood that if you go to a gathering, there will be someone, at least one person with COVID-19 at the gathering. And you can select the size of the number of people from, I think, 10 to 5,000. And you can see throughout the country where there are places where even if you're around only nine other people, there's like a 99% chance that someone there has COVID-19, and in other places there's like a 30% chance, but I think it's pretty jarring. I put the sliders all the way to 10 people just to see, and there's a lot of places where hanging out with just a handful of other people will expose you to COVID-19 and that's some intense, scary shit. And I think it's a useful tool to visualize what the situation is that we're in. And then also, I think maybe to send around to people, if you have people in your life who are just not feeling as alarmed as they were in May.

Rachel: Yeah, I did it too. And it is very alarming. So yeah, I think the point of sharing it with other people who are maybe not totally aware of the things that are changing right now can be good, because I think it's easy to feel like, "Oh, it's the same as it was a month ago or two months ago." And it's really not. So it is a really helpful way to visualize just how bad things are right now.

Sally: Yeah, totally. We do have something that's kind of pandemic related that's more uplifting than tools that allow you to visualize how bad the pandemic is.

Rachel: [Laughs] Yeah.

Sally: We're going to chat about a thing which we love to do.

Rachel: Yeah, let's do it.

Sally: You want to tell the people what we're going to chat about?

Rachel: Yeah, so today we're going to talk about at-home events, sort of like themed events, themed date nights, themed weekends. This was inspired by most recently, my girlfriend and I had our two year anniversary and we celebrated with a weekend of at-home activities since we couldn't really go out and do anything. But we've done a few different iterations and I know you have too, Sally. So we're going to talk about all the different ways to do this and to like make an at-home celebration feel really special.

Sally: I'm really excited to talk about these at-home events because they provide some much needed festivity.

Rachel: So the anniversary weekend was mid-October. And so we did a weekend of activities. The first day of it was Oktoberfest themed, and then the second day was like Christian girl autumn themed. So the Oktoberfest day, we did a sausage recipe, we made homemade pretzels, we got beer and were out on our terrace with it. We wore what we would wear if we were actually going to a beer garden right now, we got dressed for it. Had really great weather. We got flowers from the farmer's market, really beautiful fall arrangements. We got some pumpkins to really set the scene. And then the next day was more of a traditional... sort of the idea of the pumpkin spice-loving person's fall day. So more cooking, we made pumpkin muffins. We cooked beef stew from The Joy of Cooking, which is one of my favorites, which we cooked while listening to this Nancy Myers playlist that I'll link in the show notes. It's so good. It immediately transports you to being Stanley Tucci, stirring a pot of sauce at your stove. It's just really joyful. Also, so our themed weekends often involve theme outfits or some kind of decorations. So for this one, I got fake leaves, I just bought a pack of fake leaves online and sprinkled them all over the apartment -- which I've got to say did a lot, especially coupled with the flowers and the pumpkins. But I also got my girlfriend for this part of the weekend, a big black floppy hat that you might've seen on many an Instagram influencer. I got her a t-shirt on Etsy that had an illustration of a coffee and a pumpkin. And then it said "Power Couple" in that bouncy calligraphy font. She had to pair it with black leggings, little booties, a plaid shirt. It really was remarkable how much it transformed her look into to something very Instagrammable. So that was fun.

Sally: It was amazing, the photos of your girlfriend in the outfit and also all the things that you both did. You elevated the at-home event to essentially a LARP -- in a great way, that is the highest compliment.

Rachel: I think that you're right on when you say that, because I think it's like bringing out my theater kid and sort of love of costumes and Halloween and theme parties and sorority girl, all of these things that live inside me that I haven't gotten to tap into in a while come together. It's a perfect little creative outlet that ends up being so fun.

Sally: It's an awesome creative outlet. And one of the things I love about these kinds of events is that you can do them, you can just go all in and kind of LARP, or you can go sort of lower-fi and just throw something together, or you can do something in the middle. It's sort of like, what do you feel like doing? How much money do you want to spend? Where do your skills lie?

Rachel: Right.

Sally: What do you want to make of it? And I love you guys did it up so huge for your birthday -- I mean, sorry, for your anniversary -- which I loved, but then also you did another amazing thing that I would love for you to talk about.

Rachel: Yeah. The birthday was sort of, not the kickoff, because it started with a beach day over the summer. And then that led into my birthday, which was a whole beach day, a beach weekend, you know, a beach trip. I mean, it was, it was really great. And this was all a surprise. My girlfriend planned it on the sly, ordered all these things, hid them away from me. There were inflatables, we had food, we had shell-shaped drink containers with curly straws. She got a little bubble machine for it. It was so special. My favorite thing about it was that she got us different outfits, and this kind of kicked off the idea of oh, we change outfits for these things, but what's really great is that they kind of serve as a souvenir from the event. So she got us those t-shirts where it's like a bikini body sprayed on them. And she got, each of them had a different bikini that was like more our style. They turned out to be incredibly comfortable, a big roomy t-shirt that I will be wearing again and again. And then she also got custom t-shirts on Etsy that are those airbrushed t-shirts that you would get at the mall or on a trip. So she had a heart and an island and then our names put in it. And that was, she gave me so many wonderful gifts, big and small throughout the weekend, but the t-shirts were when I burst into tears because I just loved them so much. And the idea was like, "Oh, we'll put them on in the evening for when we go to the boardwalk." And it was just so cute.

Sally: So cute.

Rachel: I love the t-shirt, and now I have this t-shirt, it's a great souvenir. The other thing that she did was she planned a Google hangout with a bunch of my friends for the evening of my birthday, and she told them in advance to dress to theme. So everybody showed up in a Hawaiian shirt or a colorful tank top. The whole weekend was based on my Animal Crossing island beach, and so she sent them screenshots of it and so they were all dressed appropriately. And that was such a small thing that was such a cute surprise. So if you're doing any kind of Zoom or hangout, Highly recommend inviting people to show up with a little bit of a costume on.

Sally: And once again, I just happen to own enough floral shirts and sunglasses.

Rachel: Yeah, you were set.

Sally: I was good to go.

Rachel: Again, you can do these things very low-fi or you can pull out all the stops. It kind of depends on what you want to do, or something in the middle, but for birthdays, I think it was worth it to make it a little more over the top.

Sally: Totally. I mean, I think when it's a birthday or an anniversary, or you're just trying to celebrate something that you would normally be going out with like friends or to dinner or whatever -- leaning in and making those just themed gigantic awesome events is so fun and so special when right now we're all doing everything we can to stay at home.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sally: And so maybe now I'll talk about the few that I've done.

Rachel: Yeah,. I would love for you to talk about the movie night and others that you've done, because they're incredibly inspiring.

Sally: Thank you. Yes. They were very fun. One thing that's really fun about doing these if you're doing it for a partner or a housemate, you know, someone you live with and you do it as a surprise, it's delightful because you get to work on this little secret project and they get to anticipate something really fun. I'm on the fence about surprises in general, which we can talk about at a later date, but this is the kind of surprise that I feel like is a low stakes good surprise, so I'm okay with it.

Rachel: Agree. And they know the surprise is coming in a lot of instances. So it's like, you know you're going to do something, you just don't know what. And I think that's better than just dropping something out of the blue, particularly if your partner is not the most surprise-friendly person.

Sally: Totally. Yeah. Yeah. I've been known to burst into tears, not in a good way, upon being surprised, so you know.

Rachel: Right.

Sally: So what happened was over the summer, I was talking with my partner about how we really miss just going into coffee shops. You know, you go for a walk and whatever, it's fun to go for a walk, but the best part of the walk is when you dip into the coffee shop, you grab a coffee, you walk around. And we were just really missing that. So what I did was I made a coffee shop in our kitchen and we have a kitchen island, which makes it easy to set up a little coffee bar. But basically what I did was I made brownies, and this one was my first one and it was definitely my most improvisatory, because I decided to do it, sent Andrea outside onto the porch, and then set it up in like 20 minutes. So basically what I did was I arranged the kitchen so that all you really saw when you came up to the kitchen island -- speaking of Nancy Meyers movies, I'm talking about my kitchen island -- all you saw were like coffee and coffee paraphernalia, which we'll talk about later in the show but I have a lot of jars of coffee and beans and I have different manual ways of making coffee. So I set that all up, I put out a tip jar and I made a bad pun on the tip jar, which I should probably look at my Instagram and see what it was, but I put a bad pun on there about how you should tip. I put like a Bernie bumper sticker on the bar. And then I made a menu of the things that she could order, which is basically limited to drip coffee or stovetop espresso, but then also brownies or a savory snack. And I put on a channel of coffee shop noise so it had ambient coffee shop noise, which actually ended up being a little bit oppressive and after she got the idea that it was cool, we turned it off and put on some good old-fashioned indie rock. But I think that the crowning, the pièce de résistance I guess, much like what you all did with your spray painted shirts and stuff, and the Christian girl autumn outfits, is I just dressed up like a barista at a hipster coffee shop.

Rachel: [Laughs]

Sally: Luckily I have enough pieces of insufferable items of clothing already in my wardrobe that I just sort of put them together. I actually do own a fedora, -- not a pickup artist fedora, but a nice... I don't really know enough about hats to distinguish, but trust me when I say it's not as cheesy as what you're picturing.

Rachel: [Laughs]

Sally: And I have a button-down shirt that I had cut the sleeves off so I wore that and I don't know, I looked like a ridiculous Brooklyn hipster, which was perfect. And then Andrea came in and it was a very low-fi experience, but it was cute and fun and novel. And it's been very difficult over these last eight months to experience anything novel. I feel like that's kind of one of the biggest things about the pandemic. I mean, every morning there's a new, fresh hell to confront in terms of news, but that's not the kind of novelty we're looking for.

Rachel: Not the same.

Sally: And then I'll just quickly talk about the couple others that we did. Andrea did a hotel bar for me, which was really lovely. Again, this just basically involved pulling out all of the bottles of booze we have, putting them on a shelf. She got really dressed up, she told me to dress up, she turned down the lighting, she put out candles and a tablecloth and it just looked kind of cozy. And she made me a fancy cocktail and I had my choice of snacks and we just sat again at the island like it was a bar and chatted like we were at a fancy hotel bar, which was very cute. I think my favorite one that we've done is I did a movie theater for her. So basically I printed out -- I'm a big fan of printing out from templates menus and tickets and things that kind of feel like, you know, cute little souvenirs. So I did that and I set up our living room so that... I moved a bunch of things out of the way so it just didn't look so much like someone's home. I tried to make it just look a little bit less like the place that we're used to sitting and watching a movie. And what I did was I found -- this was kind of the best part I think -- I found on YouTube a video that was like 20 minutes long, and it's the pre-roll that you see in movie theaters. So there's movie trivia and, you know, the 'please turn off your phone' little jingle, and 'go to the lobby for snacks', that whole thing. Oh, the other thing I did is I took a tension rod and I blocked the staircase so that she had to give me a ticket and I lifted the tension rod and she came in.

Rachel: Wow.

Sally: But she was enchanted by the YouTube pre-roll, it was her favorite thing. And then what I did was I had a menu for her, like you would have if you went to a movie theater that also had snacks like nachos, and I made her a margarita and she could order little snacks. And I also gave her free rein to choose the movie, which I feel like, you know, you want to make these things a little special. So that was really fun. And again, definitely not a go all out type of thing, but I would say go medium out. And it still is just cute and fun. And if you're crafty too, I feel like you can also make a ton of stuff. I wouldn't know about that, because I'm not crafty, but...

Rachel: [Laughs] But you're printing things off, that's good. I didn't even think of that.

Sally: Yeah. For that one, sadly, I was trying to figure out what I could do for an outfit, but I don't have-- I need a vest. I need a vest and a matching bow tie, like a movie theater ticket taker. Do not have that in my wardrobe yet.

Rachel: It's probably for the best.

Sally: It is, it is.

Rachel: We actually did movie nights this summer on Friday nights. And it wasn't as involved as yours because we were doing them every week, but when you said that you moved the furniture around, that reminded me because we brought out the air mattress for these and we blew it up to put in front of the couch, and then we covered everything in blankets so that we were in this just big island of soft things.

Sally: So awesome.

Rachel: And we turned off all the lights, but we turned on the little string lights on our terrace. So those were the only lights. So it was a little bit more like being at an outdoor movie theater or maybe a drive in, and our thing with this was choosing the movie-est movies that we could, they had to be like... I think the first one we did was Back to the Future, and then we also did The Parent Trap. They had to be really movie movies. And I think that made a big difference too, because it felt like, "Oh, these are, yeah, we're going to the movies. We're not talking or anything. We are going to the movies." And that made it really fun.

Sally: That is so awesome. I love that. It's kind of wild that you don't even have to put that much effort in, if you just give a tiny bit more thought you can come up with something that makes it feel really special.

Rachel: Totally. And the thing that I was really surprised by with the anniversary weekend was how different our apartment felt. We had a bunch of these flower arrangements around and the leaves and the pumpkins and the effect was like, "Oh, I feel like we went to an Airbnb upstate." It really did feel like a different space. And I think doing little things, rearranging your furniture if you can or if you want to so it visually is different, does make it feel different and add to the novelty factor. So cannot recommend this enough. I'm thinking now about her birthday is in a little more than a month, so I've got to get my game together to plan something really special for that. I'm also thinking about a Black Friday virtual friend hangout. We've got it on the calendar, but I need to start filling in the details of how we're going to recreate the experience of being at a mall together from a distance.

Sally: God, I can't wait for that.

Rachel: So I think now's the time, and I'm really pumped, but now's the time to go all in and get creative and kind of make hunkering down feel a little bit better.

Sally: Totally. Yeah. Make it feel a little special. And you know, I will say just before we close this segment out that I did try one that was an utter failure, but it was really funny. So I tried to make a pillow fort. The structure I created didn't work. I mean, it was just like, the pillows were falling down, the blankets wouldn't stay up. I tried to make a pillow fort and then put string lights inside it. And in my head, my vision was, this is going to be so cute and so cozy. And then what it ended up being was like, one square foot of space where you didn't have a blanket in your eyes or in your mouth. And it was really hot because of the lights. So we laughed about that and we had fun, but you know, it didn't work. And I just say that to say, don't worry if you try it and, you know, what's the -- shoot for the moon, and if you fail you land amongst the stars.

Rachel: Yeah. I agree. Go for it. If you mess up, it's fine. I don't want to brag, but I did manage to make a successful blanket fort this summer, but it was incredibly precarious. I think that blanket forts are really more difficult than they look, and you have to have a lot of the exact correct height furniture, and a lot of books to anchor a blanket.

Sally: Oh, books. That's really smart.

Rachel: If I tried to put string lights in mine, it would have collapsed, so. We couldn't eat in ours, it was too tight. It was very cozy though, and we watched a Wes Anderson movie in it which was a very appropriate movie.

Sally: Oh, perfect!

Rachel: So it was cute. If you try again, I can send you some good Wikihows on how to make a blanket fort.

Sally: Please!

Rachel: But I have to agree that it's fairly difficult to make a blanket fort work.

Sally: Yeah. It seems like it would be easy because my impression is that kids do it. But one of the most surprising things to me about the experience was that I couldn't figure out -- I was like, this isn't working in any way and I cannot troubleshoot why, I was just sort of powerless to imagine how to fix the problem. So I made it really poorly and we laughed and then we put the room back together.

Rachel: Yeah. You know what? Still got memories, which is all that matters.

Sally: Yeah, exactly. I will say, I'm going to put in the show notes a link to this website called canva.com which is where you can get a lot of templates if you want to make menus or tickets, or just appropriately themed souvenirs. You don't need any apps, it's just a plug and play, type in some text and they look real nice. So check out the show notes for that.

Rachel: Yeah. And if you do this or you have done this and have some themes to suggest or some tips to suggest, we would love to hear them to share with everyone else.

Sally: Yeah. Please, please let us know because yeah. It's like, now that we're coming to another... I don't know if we're going to get stay at home orders, but I feel like we might. It's time to get inventive with the at-home events.

Sally: So for our next segment, which we are calling Show and Tell, I am going to talk about coffee and getting into coffee nerdery a little bit. This is dipping a toe into the waters of coffee nerdery, as opposed to getting up on the diving board and doing a backflip into the pool. Really took that one as far as it could go.

Rachel: [Laughs]

Sally: So here's the deal, Rachel, with coffee and me.

Rachel: Tell me.

Sally: Okay. I enjoy coffee. First of all, Rachel, I want to just make a pitch for getting into coffee generally.

Rachel: Okay. You have the floor.

Sally: Thank you. Now this is not about... if you don't like the taste of coffee, please skip to the end. I'm not here to tell you that you should like coffee, but if you like coffee and you are maybe spending more time at home right now, making coffee yourself more often than you used to, or maybe you're still out in the world working and you're taking coffee on the go and you're trying to minimize going into stores and stuff like that. Coffee is a really, I think, can be a fun hobby to get into. And the reason I think it's fun is because when you get into manually brewing coffee, which just means any technique that's not a set it and forget it type of auto drip pot or like a pod. It can be a fussy experience, and it can be fussy in a really fun way for people who like to tweak settings and experiment with things, but it can also be intimidatingly fussy because there are so many things to tweak when it comes to getting into manual brewing coffee. You can mess with a million variables -- the brew time, the coffee to water ratio, pouring technique, water temperature, you can get extremely nerdy and extremely fussy. My approach when I started to get more into coffee, which was in 2018, was to first get really overwhelmed with what could go into getting into coffee, and then be annoyed at all these hipster assholes who were very gatekeepy about it. And then I found a book called Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home. This is like a beautiful, hardcover little book. It's written by Jessica Easto and it's a really accessible basically handbook to making better coffee at home. She walks you through everything, it doesn't feel gatekeepy, and she kind of explains, like, listen, you can just make a decision to make this as fussy of an experience as you enjoy.

Rachel: Right.

Sally: And I enjoy a medium fussy experience. And part of that has to do with the fact that my palate is pretty middling. I'm not here to tell you that I know about really top-notch delicious coffee or... you know, I can sometimes taste if the tasting notes are smokey and chocolaty versus citrusy and notes of berries. I can perceive those things if I'm told to look out for them. But for the most part, I'm just one of those "I like what I like" people and I like to mess with this stuff and see how to make my coffee taste better. And that's it.

Rachel: Right. Okay, I have a question. Do you drink your coffee black?

Sally: I do.

Rachel: Do you think that's a requirement for this process to get into it?

Sally: I don't... See, someone who was a more sophisticated coffee person would have an actual answer for you, but I'm going to say that my guess is that it doesn't matter because I feel like even if you drink coffee with milk and sugar, you still taste the coffee, right?

Rachel: Yeah. That's true.

Sally: You know, so I feel like you can get into it regardless. Maybe the differences in flavor are less subtle if you drink it black. But I think they're probably still there.

Rachel: I think that's right. Okay.

Sally: Okay. So the reason why manual brewing methods are the way to get into coffee and experiment with coffee is because as I was saying before, if you have an auto drip machine, it really is just a set it and forget it type thing. I mean, you could put way less coffee or way more water, and you could get something way too strong or way too weak. But other than that, there's nothing much to tweak. But if you get... so there's a bunch of different types of manual coffee makers, you've probably seen various kinds of pour overs, there's like the Chemex, which is really beautiful and you use a special kettle to pour the water in. It requires a lot of technique. I'm pretty bad at using Chemex and also we keep getting them and breaking them, so then we just gave up on it. It felt like it was a sign from the universe to stop buying them.

Rachel: Yeah [laughs]

Sally: There's French press, which is another manual method, which I actually really like. But I think that the best starter manual brew method to get into is the Clever Coffee Dripper. And the reason I think this is because first of all, you don't have to invest in a ton of money. I think I got my Clever Coffee Dripper for like $25 and it came with like 50 filters or something like that.

Rachel: Oh, that's really good.

Sally: Yeah. And what it looks like is it looks like a cone that sits on top of your mug, but instead of the coffee pouring through as you pour the water, it's an immersion method where the water and the coffee steep together and after three minutes you release the coffee.

Rachel: Gotcha. Okay.

Sally: It's a very forgiving method of making coffee, which is to say that there are people who weigh their coffee and their wate not by volume, but by weight, which is more accurate. And you know, it may be if you tweak things to like a tenth of an ounce with a certain brew method, or you let the coffee and the water sit together for a second or two less or more, it's going to affect the cup you get. With the Clever Coffee Dripper, it's not that responsive to tiny little changes. It's going to be pretty tough to make a bad cup of coffee, even as you experiment with various different tweaks. I say this because Jessica Easto says it in her book, and because I experienced it firsthand. As I was experimenting, the coffee was always pleasing and interesting and very, very hard to fuck up.

Rachel: Nice.

Sally: And the other thing is that, I think some people don't like French press coffee because it has a really heavy body, and it has kind of an oily foam that some people aren't into. The Clever is not like that. The coffee is really clean -- and you can practice what's called blooming with the Clever Coffee Dripper. The bloom is when you add hot water to coffee grounds, the water sort of bubbles up, which is the carbon dioxide being released from the coffee, from the brew, which creates a smoother, nicer taste. And that is something that when you go to a really cool coffee shop, you see baristas do with a Chemex. And it's really cool, and I never was able to actually do it. With the Clever, I think it's a lot easier to do and you can practice blooming, which I think is really fun. And I want to recommend -- so I wrote an article when I worked at Buzzfeed called 'Here’s How To Make Really Goddamn Good Coffee At Home'. And I explained, step-by-step, basically how to get started with the Clever, but basically what it involves is like getting the Clever, you know, if you don't have a grinder you can get your coffee ground at a coffee shop, or you can buy it pre-ground. Whether you get ground or whole beans is another thing that you can think about whether or not you want to tweak, if you want to invest in a grinder or not. And then basically you get a little journal or use your Notes app, and you just write down, okay, this morning, this is the kind of coffee I tried, this is how much I used, this is how much water I used. And this is how, you know, when I brewed the coffee, it was a little bit translucent so I think it was a little too weak. It didn't taste as strong as it could have. And then the next time you tweak it, and you it turns into a whole thing and it becomes your little hobby of perfecting your home cup, which I think that you can do without spending a lot of money or a lot of time, or becoming an insufferable person who talks about good coffee.

Rachel: Right. That's great. I love this.

Sally: And also, Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home, which, like I said, that hardcover book has beautiful illustrations. It really takes you through how to get into coffee. And I spent a lot of time reading websites and Googling things and trying to understand coffee, and I always found it really intimidating. I always found it really inaccessible. There's just a huge body of knowledge and I found it very overwhelming. This book really, really, really breaks it down. So I think especially if you have someone in your life who is a coffee lover, but has never experimented with manual brewing, it might be cool for them too, so I highly recommend it. And we'll put a link to that in the show notes as well.

Sally: Okay. We've talked about fun events at home. We've talked about making coffee. So I think that now that everyone is equipped to spend some more time inside, let's talk about a nice thing to end on. Rachel, what's a nice thing to end on?

Rachel: So I want to recommend an artist. Her name is Lauren Martin and her website is laurenmartinnyc.com. We will link this in the show notes. She does really great illustrations, and the thing that I've been loving is that every month she releases new iPhone backgrounds -- or just phone backgrounds, I guess, but I put them on my iPhone. So they're themed for the month and she'll do a couple versions. One will have the calendar for the month on it so you can see it on your home screen, but you can also get it without if you just want to keep the same background through other months, which you might. I've done that before. So they're very cute. I think I still have the October one, which is little candle illustrations that are just adorable. Her art's great. I've ordered a print of hers. Sometimes she'll do t-shirts. So just highly recommend a cute phone background that makes you happy whenever you look at it.

Sally: Yeah, I'm completely obsessed with these. I'm looking at them again now and they are really cute and really unique.

Rachel: Yeah. I love her style. I think it's so great. So check her out. Sally, what's your nice thing to end on?

Sally: Okay. Well, I am excited about this and I think that given some of your recent interests, Rachel, you will be excited as well. The thing I would like to end on is the concept of deep time.

Rachel: Okay.

Sally: So I'm taking a course on coursera.org.

Rachel: Okay.

Sally: It's called Mountains 101.

Rachel: I'm listening [laughs]

Sally: So it turns out that mountains are a field of study, and there are people whose whole thing is to just think about mountains. I've done the first three weeks of material for the class, and one of the things that we learned about very early on, which I thought was really fascinating, is this concept of deep time, which is the multi-million year timeframe within which scientists believe the earth has existed and which is supported by the observation of mostly geological phenomenon.

Rachel: Okay.

Sally: So deep time is just real fucking mindblowing because it's like, here's what's been going on for millions of years. It's mountains, you know?

Rachel: I love it.

Sally: And it's one of those things that I know I understand that what we're looking at in the natural world developed over millions and millions of years, but when you really think about the concept of deep time, it's just kind of mind blowing.

Rachel: It really is.

Sally: Yeah. And I love it. And I just want to shout out Thomas Burnet who was, I want to say a 17th century scientist or thinker? Who knows what was going on in the 17th century, you know, people just put ideas down. And like, basically at the time people thought that everything you see on the earth was like, this is how the earth has always existed. It just sprang up fully formed with like, Mount Fuji where Mount Fuji is. I mean, they probably weren't talking about Mount Fuji, but basically anything you see came to exist all at the same time.

Rachel: Right.

Sally: Burnet was like, no, actually that's not it. And he went on to explain how various geological features came to be. And the reason that I'm kind of obsessed with him is that he was like, no, hold on, let me explain science to you, but then came up with this theory that was a complete hybrid of creationism and science. So he is here to tell you that mountains didn't always exist the way they are now, and we have to understand that there's a geological reality to the earth we're living on -- and the flood at the time of Noah is part of that explanation.

Rachel: Got it.

Sally: And I just-- I really like that he was like, no, no, no, it's not all about creationism and stuff like that. It's actually about real science shit. But then he also is like, but Genesis was actually the beginning of the earth. It's a very good reminder to me that we have a lot of viewpoints that we feel are right, and also that we feel are correctives to earlier viewpoints. And as time goes on, we're like, "Oh, I was really wrong about that." Or like, "I really had an incomplete understanding of that thing." And that is a very resonant reminder to me right now. So between deep time and your boy Thomas Burnet combining geological and biblical realities in his book Sacred Theory of the Earth, which is also so boss, those are my nice things to end on.

Rachel: Those are very nice. And this is a great way to tease an upcoming future episode where I'm going to talk to you about dinosaurs. And I'm learning all about fossils and paleontology right now. So deep time is right in line with the things that I've been thinking about lately, and I'm excited to check out coursera.com because I would love for somebody to actually just explain fossils to me personally versus me reading about it in a book and periodically stopping to be like, "Okay, but how did you do this? How do you know this?" Because it's just really wild and it makes me feel very, very stupid, honestly, in a good way.

Sally: In a good way, yeah.

Rachel: I'm learning a lot.

Sally: I'm really excited for this journey that you're on. I think that it's really cool that we're both becoming basically paleontologists.

Rachel: Yes.

Sally: And I will say that Mountains 101 is awesome. As we get into the third and fourth week, there's some actual science being discussed and I'm starting to have a little bit of a harder time with the material. I did have to take a quiz three times in order to pass it.

Rachel: Oh no.

Sally: But I'm learning.

Rachel: Good job, though.

Sally: Thank you. I stuck with it. I'm learning a lot. So yeah. Stay tuned for our journeys into paleontology.

Rachel: [Laughs] Wonderful.

Sally: Okay. So on that note, that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of Oh I Like That. Please rate us and review us. If you've been listening to the show and you like what you hear, please do give us a rating and a review. It really, really helps us.

Rachel: You can follow us on Twitter @ohilikethatpod or email us at ohilikethatpod@gmail.com. You can also tweet at us directly. I'm @the_rewm and Sally is @sallyt.

Sally: Oh I Like That is produced by Rachel and Sally and edited by Lucas. Amber Seger, @rocketorca on social media, designed our logo.